Modi ignored key issues in UN speech: Pakistan

Updated 28 Sep 2020

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Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram said Modi had played up trivial issues in his speech, while ignoring those that the world was interested in. — INP/File
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram said Modi had played up trivial issues in his speech, while ignoring those that the world was interested in. — INP/File

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has reminded the international community that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignored Kashmir and other major global issues in his address to the UN General Assembly.

The Indian leader addressed the 75th UNGA on Saturday and deman­ded a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, but purposely ignored key global issues. Pakistan opposed the Indian demand, saying that there’s no place for “a fascist state” in a decision-making body like the UNSC.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram said in a statement that Mr Modi had played up trivial issues in his speech, while ignoring those that the world was interested in.

“Modi’s speech was silent on international issues and divorced from the reality of an intolerant, divided, brutal and economically failing India locked in disputes with all its neighbours,” he said.

“The world public is not very interested in how many Indians defecate in public,” he said, referring to Modi’s boasts about the reforms he had introduced, including freeing of 600 million people from open defecation. “This was not an easy task. But India has achieved it,” the prime minister told the 193-member assembly.

Speaking via video link, Mr Modi also ignored the Palestine question and climate change, the issues that could expose India’s double-faced approach.

On Aug 5, 2019, India illegally merged the occupied Jammu and Kashmir valleys with the union and since then millions of Kashmiris have been living under a siege. Gross human rights violations in Kashmir have come under heavy criticism from the UN, international human rights organisations and the media, but Mr Modi did not even mention their concerns in his speech.

The Modi government’s policy of marginalising minorities, particularly Muslims, has also faced severe criticism across the globe, but the Indian prime minister also ignored this issue.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2020